Arts and crafts are both a blessing and a curse: On the one hand, they can serve as creative outlets, opportunities to bond with your child and activities to keep little ones busy while you check things off your to-do list. Then there’s the dark side of crafting: paint spills, glitter littering the dining room floor, and glue sticking to everything and everyone. Allowing your child free range of adhesives can be a risky move: aside from the mess, some glues are toxic, so you have to be careful about the brands you buy. Luckily, there are glues for kids that are specifically designed to ensure the safety of your child.
There are tons of adhesives lining the shelves of craft stores these days: liquids, solids, pastes, sticks, clear, white, mixed with glitter — there’s a formula for every artistic project. But when it comes to choosing the best glue for kids, you have to consider more than what’s best for the final product. Look to the label for details like how well it washes off, what ingredients it’s made from and how quickly it dries. Yes, it’s a tedious task, but it’s worth protecting your child’s safety. If you’re still unclear as to what formulas are most ideal for your little artists, we’ve rounded up the best glues for kids below.
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1. Elmer’s Liquid School Glue
Even if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body, you definitely recognize Elmer’s from elementary school. The OG liquid adhesive has an awesome reputation among parents and teachers alike, and for good reason: it’s no-run (aka you control how much comes out of the bottle), easily washable, safe and 100 percent nontoxic (in case your child happens to sneak a taste). What’s more, Elmer’s glue holds up against most, if not all materials — think paper, wood, fabric and even ceramics. It also makes for an awesome slime base: just add color for endless, albeit vibrant, fun!
2. AmazonBasics Clear School Glue
While Elmer’s is the OG, there’s nothing more irksome than having white glue peeking out from underneath the colorful paper your child adhered to another. With AmazonBasics’ clear formula, items like paper, photos and fabric bond without that pesky pop of white. Great for school or home products, AmazonBasics Clear School Glue is thinner than competitors, but just as effective and easy to clean up.
3. Gorilla School Glue
You might recognize Gorilla for its stronghold mounting tape. Parents love this brand for projects around the house, and kids love it for arts and crafts. Out of the bottle, Gorilla glue comes out white but dries clear, and it’s ultra thick to ensure whatever your child’s bonding — from beads to fabric to glitter — sticks and stays stuck.
4. Arteza Liquid School Glue
This is a great glue for kids because it doesn’t drip. Kids are still learning how to control their movements, and glue can end up on just about everything. The glue can be controlled precisely, so kids don’t get frustrated with the amount they put on their crafts. It also dries clear. Plus, it’s non-toxic and washable.
5. Amazon Basics Liquid Washable Glitter Glue, Assorted Colors
Kids love glitter glue—and this set is sure to elevate their arts and crafts projects. This set comes with four colors so they’ve got options, and they’re non-toxic for your peace of mind. Best of all, they easily wash off with water so cleaning up won’t be a chore.